Google debuts a ChatGPT rival called Bard in limited release


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Google is infusing more AI into its search engine.


Google on Monday finally jumped into the generative AI race, announcing a service called Bard, a rival to the popular ChatGPT bot. The service will be initially available to a limited group of testers before a wider release in “coming weeks,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.

The service will use artificial intelligence to generate answers in text when people type in queries. Google said it can help people perform tasks like planning a baby shower, compare two Oscar-nominated movies, or explain NASA discoveries to a 9-year-old.

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models,” Pichai wrote. “It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.”

Google on Monday also said it will infuse more AI into its iconic search engine. The company will use the technology to “distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats.” For example, AI could conjure up an answer to whether it’s easier to learn the guitar or piano.

The release comes as AI products have found new mainstream success, after San Francisco-based OpenAI released the popular ChatGPT in November. Google had been working on similar technology using an AI model called LaMDA, which the search giant originally announced in 2021 but hadn’t shipped in any products until now.

Pichai reportedly considered the situation so urgent that he declared a “code red,” shaking up the work of several groups within the company. He had also enlisted cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to review the company’s AI strategy. Brin has become so involved he filed his first code review request in years, Forbes earlier reported.

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